According to the National Bureau of Statistics, the Nigerian unemployment and underemployment rate for those aged 15 to 24 years was as high as 33% in 2017. These promising youth are often at risk of dropping out of school. They are likely to engage in delinquent behaviors like drug abuse, cultism, and teenage pregnancy. In their vulnerability, they desire acceptance and affirmation. However, without education and essential skills, their chances of breaking out of this vicious cycle are slim.
Our mentors provide guidance and emotional support to boost the morale and confidence of the youths, identify their strengths/passion and help them set goals. A six months leadership development/mentoring program provides knowledge and equips them with skills and values to pursue life goals. The peer mentors provide a platform for creativity and problem-solving in their school communities. Schools are also selected for infrastructure provision and scholarships for promising youths.
The success of this program justifies the need for its expansion. Outcomes include improved focus, emotional stability, greater confidence, decreased anxiety and less likelihood of them ending up in delinquent behavior. The youths continue to grow physically, emotionally and socially and become role models who positively influence their peers, reducing the crime rate. These young leaders show increased interest and involvement in social change thereby becoming problem solvers and good citizens.